The directory and the board of the Brazilian Materials Research Society (SBPMat) express their unease in light of the lack of prospects for science, technology and innovation (STI) in Brazil. The sector has experienced deep budget cuts in recent years, cuts that threaten to derail programs and research projects and crucial advancements for the Nation. The government has shown no signs of repealing these cuts, hence ensuring a budget that can minimally maintain Brazil in the upward trajectory of recent decades.
Even more worrying is the absence of a strategic plan for STI, a key requirement to help Brazil overcome the severe crisis we are experiencing. The unification of the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation with the Ministry of Communications, for example, does not seem to adhere to any logic that allows us to envisage the formulation of public policies to boost Brazil’s economic and social development.
In the very short term, our suggestion is that the government should reinstate the budgets and provide the means for the ongoing initiatives of the funding agencies such as CAPES, CNPq and Finep, because the interruption or reduction of STI programs – even for short periods of time –may cause irreparable damage to Brazil.
The area that most concerns our Scientific Society is with regard to the fact that Brazil is a major producer of raw materials and lacks sufficient investment in STI to add value to products, provide high-tech companies and create jobs. It is relevant to point out that the knowledge generated in the STI activities is an essential element to build an egalitarian and developed society, which is what we aspire for our country.